It takes balls to strap yourself into the nose cone of a rocket that’s aimed at the Moon. Even more so when you’re the first to do it. Who the fuck would volunteer to be part of that insane plan?

Neil Armstrong did.

A man from Wapakoneta Ohio was the first human to put his foot down somewhere other than Earth.

Neil Armstrong passed away yesterday. Which is to say he is now dead. We shot this guy at the Moon and he survived and came back.

He took one small step for a man that was a giant leap for mankind.

How trite is that? An obvious and unremarkable commentary. Three people were bundled up and fired at the Moon. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins. What I’ve always loved about the moon landing is that Neil fucked up his line. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” A man. It’s one small step for a man, moron.

But you know what? Neil was standing on the fucking Moon! Have you seen the Moon? It’s huge and really far away and Neil stood there and blew his line.

It’s always been inspiring to me. Even when we achieve our greatest ambitions our heroes can be imperfect.

Rest in peace Neil Armstrong. You didn’t just give us the Moon, you gave us a mirror.

Daring Fireball Turns Ten

I didn’t like John Gruber. I’d come to the Mac by way of an avid interest in NeXT and it’s related technologies. I bought my first Mac when Rhapsody was announced. Apple said they’d have something shipping within six months. They didn’t and I ended up using the classic Mac OS for a lot longer than I’d have liked. I was coming from OS/2 and Windows NT and the idea that dragging a scroll bar would stop a download felt positively Palaeolithic. Gruber, I felt, was an apologist for the antiquated Mac OS and too harsh a critic of the far more modern and forward looking Mac OS X. Did window resizing performance stink? Yes, sure, but having fully buffered windows and the Quartz compositing model was The Right Thing To Do. And his lack of appropriate reverence for the Cocoa APIs and tools was infuriating. Stupid Gruber. I rage read Daring Fireball voraciously.

Happy tenth, John. Your writing has changed the way I think about products, design and quality. Or I’ve had a stroke from getting so steamed.